The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on November 8, 2021, that it will exempt filing fees and streamline application processing for Afghan nationals paroled into the United States for humanitarian reasons on or after July 30, 2021. DHS said these actions “will help facilitate their resettlement in the U.S. by streamlining the processing of requests for work authorization, Green Cards, and associated services.”
DHS is the lead federal agency coordinating Operation Allies Welcome, the ongoing all-of-government effort to resettle Afghans who fled their country following the Taliban takeover, including those who worked on behalf of the United States. Approximately 70,000 Afghans have arrived in the United States as part of Operation Allies Welcome, DHS said. Following the “biggest airlift in U.S. history,” DHS paroled many Afghan nationals, on a case-by-case basis, into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons. DHS said that parolees may apply for work authorization using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, on the basis of their parole. Afghan nationals can also apply for immigration benefits such as Afghan special immigrant status, lawful permanent residence, and asylum, the agency noted.